Chocolate Cake

What Is Prince Regent Cake, As Seen on ‘The Great British Bake Off’?

Also known as Prinzregententorte.

October 22, 2021
Photo by Courtesy of The Great British Bake Off

The fun of watching The Great British Bake Off is yes the competition, yes the British humor, but mainly the chance to learn about an entirely new baked good popular across the pond. In this week’s technical challenge on the popular Netflix show, the remaining contestants were tasked with baking a Prince Regent Cake, also known as Prinzregententorte. Thin layers of white cake and chocolate ganache are stacked high for a beautiful slice of cake. But what is Prince Regent Cake anyway, and what makes it worthy of the show’s most challenging category?

According to The Great British Bake Off, Prince Regent Cake was created in the 19th century to celebrate Prince Regent Luitpold, who was the de facto ruler of Bavaria (a landlocked state within Germany) and reigned from 1886–1912. His son, Ludwig the III, was the last king of Bavaria and served until 1918. At the time, Bavaria consisted of eight administrative districts—hence the eight layers of sponge cake that are used to make the cake. It’s a serious showstopper, but is certainly no easy feat to assemble.

How to Make Prince Regent Cake

Prue Leith’s recipe for Prinzregententorte calls for eggs (10 of them), salt, caster sugar (you can use superfine if you’re in the USA), vanilla sugar, flour, baking soda, and unsalted melted butter. Prince Regent Cake specifically features a sponge cake, which has a light, springy texture and pronounced vanilla flavor. In between each thin layer of homemade sponge cake is a rich chocolate filling; Leith makes hers with whole milk, egg yolks, corn flour, two kinds of chocolate (cocoa powder and dark chocolate), unsalted butter, and confectioners’ sugar (also known as icing sugar in the U.K.) Once the chocolate filling and sponge cake are layered to completion, the entire cake is covered with a silky chocolate ganache that hardens ever so slightly, leaving behind a luxurious shine. You can leave it as is, or garnish it with chocolate crowns covered in edible gold leaf for a regal touch.

So What Can Go Wrong?

Contestants who flubbed during this week’s technical challenge were criticized for lackluster elements like a bubbly ganache (strain your ganache through a fine-mesh sieve to get rid of any air pockets!) and uneven layers of cake (wish we had advice for this one, but it really just takes a practiced hand).

Have you tried baking a Prince Regent Cake before? Let us know in the comments below!

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1 Comment

Susanne P. October 23, 2021
Very popular, classic cake in German speaking countries. In order to cut the layers you need a cutting device. Google for "Tortenboden-Schneidehilfe". Not sure if there exists an English translation for that. Similar but even better: Esterhazytorte